Article: An Insider Coaching Secret for Clearing Blocks & Obstacles – Jamie Smart

An Insider Coaching Secret for Clearing Blocks & Obstacles

Last week we played with the "Thank-you" technique for accepting & releasing "stuck states". This week we're going to explore another powerful technique I use when I'm helping people make changes. In fact, I use this in the course of virtually every piece of change-work I do. In this article, you're going to discover a tool for helping people clear blockages & experience the feelings & results they want in their lives.

One of the things that really excited me when I first started learning NLP was the idea of developing really good "sensory acuity", the ability to notice the patterns of (often minor) changes in a person's outward appearance / behaviours, as a way of making predictions about what's going on "on the inside." Examples of this include:

Breathing rate

Skin colour

Energy levels

Eye movements

Language patterns

Head position


Body posture


As I worked with 100s of clients in a variety of contexts, I started to notice a pattern: on numerous occasions, when I asked a person a question about an area where they were "blocked" in some way, they would stop breathing.

Breathing is good

Breathing is good. If you have any doubt about this, stop breathing for a minute or two & notice how your body-mind responds. Breathing sustains life. If we stop breathing, carbon dioxide starts building up in the bloodstream, & we start to experience "air hunger". Various processes in our bodies require oxygen & the other gases contained in air in order to maintain various "life support" processes.

Most people die if they stop breathing for more than a couple of minutes, but the impact on various bodily processes starts the moment you stop breathing.

Here's my theory: people often stop breathing as a way of suppressing emotions that they don't want to feel, either because they experience them as uncomfortable, unfamiliar, frightening, bad, dangerous, or as meaning something bad about the person.

When the body realises that breathing has stopped, it diverts resources away from the "optional" process (feeling a feeling) and towards "mandatory" processes (staying alive).

Keep breathing

Over the last few years, I've become more & more aware of people pausing their breathing at points during changework. I see this as a great opportunity for them to "breathe through" the point where they've been stopping until now.

You'll hear me tell people to "keep breathing" at various points during change-work. This is because I've noticed them stop (they typically don't notice it themselves as its an unconscious process that they've practised repeatedly).

The funny thing is, it doesn't just apply to "nasty" feelings – it happens just as often with "nice" feelings that a person hasn't been allowing themselves to experience, for whatever reason.

Next time you experience a situation where you feel "stuck" or "blocked" in some way, notice your breathing, & continue breathing in and out as you "connect" with the sensations in your body. You can combine this with the "Thank-you" technique from last week to create fast, powerful shifts in all sorts of situations.

By the way, it's just over a month until the start of the 2008/2009 Salad NLP Practitioner training. This is the last time we will be running the Practitioner training in its current form, so if you want to learn NLP the way I did, with a select, committed group of people over a 5-month period, go to or ring 0845 650 1045 for more details.

Have a great week,

Your friend

Salam Street Smart NLP!

Teddi Prasetya Yuliawan
Indonesia NLP Society <>


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